Monday, October 14, 2013

Penny Kia Service Visit

Last Wednesday I made an appointment for my 40,000 km service visit.  When I called on the previous Monday they tried to sell me a service #2 which was an oil change plus brake inspection which was $40 more than a regular oil change.  Not having any brake issues and knowing I would be sufficiently gauged for my 2 year check up in February I passed on the #2 and went for the #1 which is what the owners manual says I would need at this point.

When I called in I pointed out that my passenger side door sill light was not working, and that I had a problem with the drivers side door sill earlier this year which resulted in total car failure due to corroded wires under the door sill.  The service person listened intently, then I asked him if I could wait for my car and he said yes it should be 45 minutes to one hour maximum.  I asked since I had to have the door issue looked at would it take any longer than that and he assured me it would not.

So I showed up Wednesday morning and my service visit could not have gone any worse, I could describe it all but I think the email I sent to the service manager that night says it all, here it is verbatim.  See if you can figure out how it all ends before I post about how it turned out later this week:

I wanted to send you an email about my service visit today since I will probably getting a survey to fill out and it won't be entirely positive.  

On Monday I called in to set up a service appointment, explaining that I would be there around 8:30 and that I was having trouble with my passenger side sill plate not lighting up.  I told the guy that I had this problem before on the drivers side and it was caused by corrosion of the sill plate.  They ended up replacing the sill plate AFTER my car had broken down, I had it towed, the tow truck damaged my vehicle which was never covered.   I also explained that I would like to wait for my vehicle since I have to pick up kids at lunch time and whatnot.  After explaining my light problem I asked how long it would take to have the vehicle serviced and I was told 45 minutes to one hour.  I asked again if the problem would cause extra delay and there was no indication that it would.  Since I was told 45 minutes to one hour that is what I thought it would take.  The last time I was in it did only take about 45 minutes and I was very pleased with the service.

When I arrived the service person asked me what number I could be reached at but I explained that I needed it wait for my vehicle, and had made that clear when I set my appointment.  Again I told him that I had the sill plate problem before and that they had to replace it due to corrosion.   He told me it may be the bulb and that I would have to pay for a replacement bulb, I asked him if he was serious and he said yes.  Again I repeated that the problem before came from corrosion of the sill plate.  

I was killing time on the computers and enjoying a few timbits and coffee and after 1/2 hour noticed my vehicle still hadn't gone in for service.  I was sitting next to a nice lady in the lounge area who told me that two service technicians had called in sick today and that yesterday she showed up and the computer system was down so she had to go home and come back again today.  That poor lady was there almost as long as I was today and that was after coming yesterday and having to return.  If I had been told you guys were backed up from yesterday or short staffed I probably would have made a new appointment and saved myself 2 hours away from work.

So I waited and waited a bit more and then at about 10:20 the service person came over and I figured he would tell me my car was ready but said there was carbon build up in my intake and they were recommending I fix that and it would cost $65.... after I had waited almost 2 hours for an oil change and diagnosis of a minor problem.  It was difficult for me  not to act irritated but I politely declined the service since I had to get back to work.  Again I'm sure you understand my position and after waiting almost 2 hours the last thing I wanted to hear was that they wanted me to spend another $70.

When you saw me at about 10:30 I was totally at my wits end, I was there about 2 hours at that point, expecting to be 45 minutes to an hour and no one explained the delay to me.  When I finally finished up at 10:45 the service person told me a lot of the delay was diagnosing the sill plate problem.  This would in some cases be a reasonable explanation but I had told him 2 or 3 times about the problem I had with the drivers side sill plate earlier this year leading to its replacement, it rusted, the wires corroded, my car stopped working, I had it towed, the tow truck damaged it, etc etc....  It left a bad taste in my mouth.  Sure enough same issue with the passenger side, they have to order me in a new plate.  As an additional note, I don't find it comforting that after one winter I have had to replace both of these, one instance leading to total car failure and damage due to a tow truck.  I love my car but if this continues I will be unloading it before the warranty expires.

All in all this was not a good service experience.  As I said to both yourself and the service person, next time I need just an oil change I will be going to Jiffy Lube.  I understand the car business and I know you count on after sales service but I can't afford to give up over 2 hours to a simple oil change and diagnosis of a reoccurring problem.  I really think the service person was not listening to me at all and in the end I was correct in my diagnosis of the problem which I explained to him multiple times.   That is what I found most irritating, he just didn't listen to me.

On the upside, I bought some Weathertech mats today and found the parts person very helpful and especially nice to deal with today, the mats are great.  He would get 10 out of 10.

I have to say in my 20+ years of owning cars you are probably the best person I have ever dealt with and I think my Optima is a wonderful car, but today I was very disappointed in the service provided and will be reflecting this in the Kia survey I will be receiving.   I would be inclined to go elsewhere for any future simple oil changes but will may come in for more in depth servicing.  

As a family man and a busy person I hope you see the point here

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